This fact sheet summarizes findings from the 2007 National Youth Gang Survey (NYGS) on youth gangs.
Since 1995, the NYGC has conducted a systematic survey of law enforcement agencies across the United States regarding the presence and characteristics of local gang problems. The nationally representative sample was selected in 2002 and includes the following agencies: all police departments that serve cities with populations of 50,000 or more (n=624, larger cities); all suburban county police and sheriffs’ departments (n=739, suburban counties); a randomly selected sample of police departments that serve cities with populations between 2,500 and 49,999 (n=694, smaller cities); and a randomly selected sample of rural county police and sheriffs’ departments (n=492, rural counties). The findings show that in 2007 an estimated 3,550 jurisdictions served by city and county law enforcement agencies experienced gang problems and an estimated 788,000 gang members and 27,000 gangs were active in the United States. Other details regarding youth gangs are provided. Data collected using a survey defining youth gangs as “a group of youth or young adults in your jurisdiction that you or other responsible persons in your agency or community are willing to identify as a gang;” motorcycle gangs, hate or ideology groups, prison gangs, and exclusively adult gangs were excluded from the survey. Tables and figure
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP)
810 Seventh Street NW, Washington, DC 20531, United States
Juvenile Justice Clearinghouse/NCJRS
P.O. Box 6000, Rockville, MD 20849, United States
OJJDP Youth Gang Series
United States of America